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Effects of pingers on the behaviour of bottlenose dolphins

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2007

Ruth H. Leeney
Affiliation:
Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Tremough, Penryn TR10 9EZ, UK
Simon Berrow
Affiliation:
Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation, Merchants Quay, Kilrush, Co. Clare, Ireland
David McGrath
Affiliation:
Galway—Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway, Ireland
Joanne O'Brien
Affiliation:
Galway—Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway, Ireland
Ronan Cosgrove
Affiliation:
Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Dock Road, Galway, Ireland
Brendan J. Godley
Affiliation:
Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Tremough, Penryn TR10 9EZ, UK

Abstract

Trials were carried out in the Shannon estuary, Ireland, to test the effects of continuous (CPs) and responsive pingers (RPs) on bottlenose dolphin behaviour. In controlled trials, active and control pingers were deployed on fixed moorings, with T-PODs—acoustic monitoring devices to detect cetacean activity. In a separate trial, pingers were deployed from a moving boat which actively located dolphin groups in the estuary, and dolphin behaviour was recorded. In the static trials, overall detection rates of dolphin vocalizations on the T-POD were significantly lower in the presence of active CPs, but this was not the case for RPs. Mean inter-click interval values were longer for click trains produced in the presence of inactive RPs than for active RPs, active or inactive CPs. In boat-based trials, both active CPs and RPs appeared to affect bottlenose dolphin behaviour, whereby dolphins immediately left the area at speed and in a highly directional manner, involving frequent leaps.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2007 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

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